Wenger reportedly stalls Vermaelen deal: Three players who could push move through

Thomas Vermaelen Pre FA Cup Press Conference

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reportedly put the brakes on Thomas Vermaelen's exit until he has signed a suitable replacement.

Arsenal are not willing to sell Thomas Vermaelen to Manchester United until a suitable replacement is found according to a report.

Goal claims Arsene Wenger wants a new centre-back in place before he will sanction the move of the Belgian international, and that the French boss favours someone with Premier League experience.

With Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny very much the first-choice pairing, it may be hard to sign an experienced player who is willing to bide his time on the substitutes’ bench. But here we look at three possible targets that could fit Wenger’s reported criteria.

Brede Hangeland

The towering Norweigian is currently without a club after being released by Fulham at the end of last season, but he still has much to offer and could be the perfect addition to the Gunners’ squad. He is at the age where he knows he may not play every week but he has the experience to excel when called on.

The 33-year-old has recently been linked with Queens Park Rangers, but given that he is a free agent, Arsene Wenger may be wise to explore the possibility of bringing in a player who could slot into the side when required.

Ashley Williams

Last summer the Swansea City centre-back was a regular in the gossip columns, with Arsenal tipped to make a move. Still at the Liberty Stadium, the 29-year-old could be prised away if the Gunners were willing to put what they receive for Vermaelen into a deal for the Welsh international.

He has plenty of top-flight experience and while he would be loath to compete with two such talented defenders, he may feel the time is right to test himself at one of England’s biggest clubs.

Micah Richards

The Manchester City player has been linked with a summer exit, with Arsenal one of the sides believed to be interested. Able to play at right-back and in the centre of defence, the 26-year-old is the best and most viable option on this list.

His versatility will also be appealing for a manager still seeking a replacement for Bacary Sagna and he would come relatively cheap.

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